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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 29, 2009 9:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Grateful death songs

So following the discussion about love, how about songs dealing with that other great inevitability of life – death?

There are some excellent ones in the Grateful Dead canon dealing with death and the consequences of dying. Death Don’t Have No Mercy, obviously, but many others too. To Lay Me Down is one of the finest songs about love, but it’s also one of the best that deals with death and loss and sweet regret at the inevitable going.

Brokedown Palace: another great song about love and death:
Going home, going home
By the waterside I will rest my bones
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul

Black Peter: one of the best of the acceptance of the end songs:
Just want to have a little peace to die
And a friend or two I love at hand

Box of Rain: one of the best about dealing with being left behind:
A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through

Stella Blue: coming to the end regretting what might have been:
When all the cards are down
There's nothing left to see
There's just the pavement left
And broken dreams

Even the last thoughts of a murder victim:
I sat down to supper, 'twas a bottle of red whiskey
I said my prayers and went to bed, that's the last they saw of me

So, just how many death songs?

(amended to include Brokedown - how could I have missed that out?)


This post was modified by robthewordsmith on 2009-09-29 16:54:12

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 29, 2009 9:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Good one! Perhaps even richer than the "love songs that aren't so much love songs afterall" as we discovered below...

I alwyas thought of Attics as a great one in this respect. At least, it seems to me in the same spirit as BlkPet, a reflection on a life's accomplishments and experiences:

In the book of love's own dream
Where all the print is blood
Where all the pages are my days
And all my lights grow old
When I had no wings to fly
You flew to me

Well, blow me down! It's a love song too! Seriously, I have always thought of it as a little of both...?

Morning Dew, though a cover, is a great one for Death of Humanity by its own hand...?

Here's another that is both about death, and the love of the departed:

All I know is something like a bird
within her sang
All I know she sang a little while
and then flew on

And how about "premature pronouncement of death"? Afterall, we find out she's only fractured, depending whether she was the object of the pistol shot I suppose:

A pistol shot at 5 o'clock
The bells of heaven ring...

"Take up your china doll
it's only fractured -
and just a little nervous
from the fall"

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Poster: cush212 Date: Sep 30, 2009 9:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

I'm surprised no one got this. China Goll was written in memory of a family members suicide/ Can;t rmrmber who right now, probably will this afternoon, Couldn't read the whole thread on account of forgot mt glasses...

Pargon typos on same account pleez

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Tell,

According to the Annotated Grateful dead lyics, the original title of China Doll was "The Suicide Song" but they don't say where they got that information ...

http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/doll.html

That title adds a whole new spin, doesn't it? It never occurred to me, I always thought it was about murder.

I vaguely remember an interview with Hunter where he said that he wanted to use the broken China Doll - a child's first loss - as a symbol for all earthly tragedy and loss. As far as I can tell they were successful - it's one of jerry's greatest 'mood' songs.

Can't believe I didn't think of Bird Song ...

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 29, 2009 2:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: China Doll

Instead of starting a new thread, I thought I'd point out that there HAS been an informative China Doll thread!

http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=166211

A couple things I'd mention -
One, that the quotation marks in the song are apparently Hunter's. For me, they make the song a bit more confusing, since the lines seem to make less sense when you read it as a dialogue, but maybe someone else can figure it out. (Not that there's a precise meaning, I suspect.)

Also, I believe the music setting also informs the lyrics - before the last verse, the music seems to 'resolve' and become brighter, and the 'la la la's at the end seem to indicate that the singer's become less mournful than at the beginning. But that's just a guess.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 30, 2009 5:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China Doll

Damn...even has all the suicide refs and such...I rarely missed posts by the "other" Ashes, but defn didn't participate in that one...

Thanks for finding it.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 30, 2009 9:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China Doll

Many thanks for that link to past discussions - I can recall reading these posts now but can't think why I didn't participate at the time. This is quite a treasure trove of Dead matters we're building up here. Seek and ye shall find!

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 30, 2009 11:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China Doll

Yeah, these things tend to come up over & over.... It's funny how every time Hunter's original title of "Suicide Song" is mentioned, someone says, "What? I've never heard that before!"
Though people may think of forums like this as a "community", it's more like a hobo camp where different people drift in & out at different times, ignorance prevails at all times, and the most insightful members are the ones who haven't been heard from in months or years.... But that's life.

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Poster: Jerrob Hungar Date: Oct 2, 2009 7:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: China Doll

Your plaintive comment on 'community' caught my eye, light, if I may call you that!
I miss the participation of many of the forum's former contributors, especially AshesRising, ghostofpig, BryanE and many others whose names I've temporarily forgotten (organic brain syndrome). However, folks like your good self, help keep the home fires burning.

The wiki says, 'In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.'

Your 'Hobo Camp' description does appeal to me though. http://hobocampreview.blogspot.com/2009/09/howie-good.html

I Am A Lonesome Hobo

Kind ladies and kind gentlemen,
Soon I will be gone,
But let me just warn you all,
Before I do pass on;
Stay free from petty jealousies,
Live by no man's code,
And hold your judgment for yourself
Lest you wind up on this road.

Copyright ©1968; renewed 1996 Dwarf Music

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

The Suicide Song... wow.

"But failing, will not die"

Failure to see the suicide attempt through?

Seriously, can we start a China Doll thread sometime?

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Sep 29, 2009 12:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Although China Doll and Unbroken Chain were written by different authors, the pairing makes for a long long period of introspection.

Roll you down the line boy
Drop you for a loss
Ride you out on a cold railroad
and nail you to a cross...


Don't know, but the pair are probably the most provocative 1-2 punch in the boys lineup.

This post was modified by Earl B. Powell on 2009-09-29 19:29:21

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Sep 29, 2009 11:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

And the verse that comes before that one:

"Willow sky,
well I walk and wonder why
they say love your brother,
but you will catch it when you try,

Roll you down the line, boy ..."

I think of these lines all the time ... they are with me in my everyday life, more than any other GD lyric.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 29, 2009 11:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Excellent thought, Earl. The religious undercurrent is perhaps more understated in China Doll but still there never the less. It's this kind of thing that keeps us coming back again and again to these songs.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Hmm--like my pirate comment, I was somewhat tongue in cheek with the "she's only fractured" as I always assumed it was a song about someone else's death, and wasn't entirely sure about the CDoll's role, etc. But, perhaps she is the subject--the one that attempts to commit suicide? Or does she represent the "broken" life the person comforting the other suggests can be picked up and restarted?

I'll check the lyrics before babbling more...

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Babble on, rose.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Whoa--almost another of those "here's what the writer really meant!" incidents, eh? Although, as we have all recognized before, the beauty of Hunter tunes is that we all go on and on debating these issues precisely because they do allow for multiple interpretations.

Though out of my era, and not one of my fav tunes, there is something that draws me to CDoll...not sure, but almost like it's a strange little "poetry reading" in the middle of a jam...if that makes sense.

Not sure I can speak to the depth that you and Rob aspire to in this case though...will have to look up the complete lyrics...

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Got my pedantic bastard hat on now: Hunter's *lyrics*, *Jerry's* tunes. Sheesh!

But yes indeed, your point well taken. I was lightly roasted by the late, great ghostofpig when I suggested some time ago that the reader's interpretation of the song reveals as much about the reader as the writer:

""The thing about a great lyric or poem is that it holds up a mirror to the reader wherein he sees reflected back his own hopes and fears and experiences – which may, or more likely may not, parallel those of the poet."

Oh sweet haggis, not the mirror metaphor. Good poetry holds up a the bank of wisdom and, like Robin Hood, dispenses its riches to the impoverished and needy.""

But in my idiot way I still think there's some merit in it!

(Come back, gop!)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 29, 2009 11:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Side note: I don't think GoP likes me anymore...we got into a length exchange about our ability to judge art, and as the realistic hardliner I am, Post Modernity critic of the first order, we parted company...Can't say that I've seen him hereabouts for months.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 29, 2009 1:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

If skies wasn't 'real' I'd think it was ghostofpig...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 29, 2009 2:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Ha! OMG--if you knew how much I am laughing at that...damn...sorry--no offense skies nor pig...that is just too funny.

I can't believe how juvenile I can be when something is funny. Pathetic, but what the Hell; I've paid my dues.

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Poster: skies Date: Sep 30, 2009 7:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Pathetic weasal william tell ,yes !A sheep always for the bad and ugly as long as it has the masses applauding him!

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Poster: bbbrew Date: Sep 30, 2009 8:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

I like weasels and their kin, Skies. Never met a pathetic one. A Sea otter once fought my 90lb. Coonhound right off his rock home. Brave, brilliant critters. If you liked the Phoebe birds youll love these.


Attachment: photo.jpg
Attachment: Californian-sea-otter-anchored-in-kelp.jpg

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Poster: skies Date: Sep 30, 2009 9:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Cute little weasel,bbbrew !

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 30, 2009 7:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

"Pathetic weasal"? I can live with that--probably fits, and I've been called much worse.

But, you give me too much credit as a mustelid inclined toward cheap laughs...you should know that GoP was a regular regular round here for years, and being compared with him isn't the insult you imagine...it was only funny to me because of the implications of how your combined approaches to posting might explain any number of past interactions. There's really not anything derogatory about it--an inside joke of a trivial sort.

So, don't get your French undies in a bundy.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 30, 2009 9:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

It's being a 'sheep always for the bad and ugly' that should worry you. You know what Dire and SDH say about my (alleged) proclivities ...

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Poster: skies Date: Sep 30, 2009 8:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

OK,William Tell ,I heard your explanations . A bit sad tho,that I get wary abut what you may say these days .I used to think of you as the truly sweet guillame tell ,remember ?As for Direwolf ,don't get thinking nothing ,he just has a certain "savoir faire" I thought all deadheads were about ,when i was in america . But the times are a changing ,and believe me , I regret my naive illusions about you all !

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Poster: skies Date: Sep 30, 2009 5:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Ghost of pigpen ?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Hey, so here's the rest of what Fenario was getting at, by the other guy (Meador or some such name?) at Dodd's site (assume you've seen it from above, but for completeness sake):

"This song was originally titled The Suicide Song, and I at first looked at it as a dialog between a suicide and God or Jesus, where the suicide argues in favor of being allowed into heaven even though he/she committed what for Catholics is an unforgivable sin. But then an even more bizarre interpretation dawned on me, and well, you should always go with the bizarre.

I think one way to look at this song is to see it as a commentary on the threat of nuclear war. It imagines the aftermath of The Bomb in much the same way Morning Dew did. In this light, I see the song as a dialog between a Human (representing humankind) and a Creator in the wake of a nuclear holocaust where humans destroy themselves completely. The bombs are dispatched-- "a pistol shot at five o'clock"-- and the resulting holocaust shakes even "the bells of heaven", causing them to ring. The Creator, perhaps in despair of His destroyed work, asks the Human "Tell me what you done it for". The Human refuses to "tell you a thing".

But then the Human points out that he/she had begged the Creator yesterday "before I hit the ground", a plea for mercy that the Creator was unable to give. The Human also consoles the Creator with "all I leave behind me is only what I found", meaning that while mankind and its works are destroyed, the earth will eventually recover and life will go on. The Human then asks "if you can abide it let the hurdy-gurdy play", meaning even though mankind is so flawed as to create the means of its own destruction, let it be born again out of the ashes of its self-destruction. After all, "stranger ones" than we have come and gone in the pageant of the cosmos.

Finally, the Human promises that unlike in the time of Jesus, "I will not condemn you nor yet would I deny", perhaps signaling a promise of a new birth in spirituality among humankind. The Human then asks the Creator to also refrain from condemning or denying its creation just because it is flawed, but assures the Creator that in any case, it "will not die".

In the last part, the Human reassures the Creator that his creation will survive even this self-destruction, that the Creator can "Take up your china doll" (the earth/life), which isn't destroyed but "only fractured, just a little nervous from the fall".

How's that for way over-thinking this song!!!"

I assume all of that is HIM not HUNTER, except that he somehow knows it was called the suicide song...are we sure? I assume it's the case, but, anyhow, interesting analysis above, eh?

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Sep 29, 2009 11:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Yeah - being an old English Lit guy myself, I think that guy's little essay on this song is pretty-darn-good, but as Rob keeps reminding us, no-one's interpretation is the be-all and end-all. Mostly I was interested in the new piece of information about the Suicide title. Completely changed my view of the song.

Rob's right that we could do a whole thread just on this one song. It's one of Hunter's ripest lyrics.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Well, blow me down! It's a love song too!

I think we're going to find that the two very often go hand in hand - two sides of the coin, etc. You don't regret losing what you never wanted to hold on to, whether it be life or lover.

And yes, Attics is an excellent example.

China Doll is a very deep song. I think it's told from the perspective of the victim, the one shot at five o'clock, possibly by a (misguided?) jealous lover

Yesterday I begged you
Before I hit the ground

who the 'China Doll' forgives and absolves of blame for his/her act, whatever the consequences:

I will not condemn you
Nor yet would I deny
I would ask the same of you
But failing, will not die

I think we could have a whole rich thread on just that song if anyone cares to open it.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

How bizarre that I typed that??! Talk about pretentious or I don't know what...

Really I was trying to convey that I was initially surprised to find it was both, though I know the lyrics well, and it is self evident...funny, but somehow I had concluded it was an open and shut "death" song, grabbed the lyrics and realized, "duh, it is also..." and then typed that strange little pirate phrase...

Too early in the morning?

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Sep 29, 2009 3:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

edit: Whoops, just say that lightintoashes mentioned Cryptical a little while ago.

The other day they waited
The sky was dark and faded
Solemnly they stated
He has to die
You know he has to die

And all the children learning
From books that they were burning
Every leaf was turning
To watch him die
You know he has to die

The summer sun looked down on him
His mother could but frown on him
And all the others sound on him
But it doesn't seem to matter

And when the day had ended
With rainbow colours blended
His mind remained unbended
He had to die
You know he had to die
You know he had to die

I think its fairly obvious that this is not about a physical death but a death of the ego, a death of what you thought you were. Of course this kind of death can have a profound impact on your physical body and the path it takes from then on.

The uplifting jam that usually followed the last lines always struck me as being like a Phoenix, constantly rebuilding out of its ashes, without a pronounced beginning, end, or resolve in and of itself until moving on to another song...

This post was modified by deadpolitics on 2009-09-29 22:38:54

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 29, 2009 3:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Yes, I mentioned it!

I agree with you about that ending jam, that it represents death & a transition through some sort of cycle, maybe an afterlife & 'rebirth' or just a continual decaying & replenishing....
Or maybe that's reading too much into it.

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Poster: Dan Russ Date: Sep 29, 2009 4:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

I was always under the assumption that this song was referring to LSD and the how the man decided that the genie should be put back in the bottle!

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Oct 16, 2009 8:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Wow, never thought about it that way at all, so thank you for the refreshing perspective.

I can read your meaning into the lyrics quite easily, especially the part about learning from books that they were burning.

Although the days of the free use of LSD had ended, the changes in perspective experienced by the first users would be found in a ripple effect through the whole generation, and society as a whole and into the future.

Because after all, you know that old way of seeing had to die and a new one meant to be born, regardless of what the law said!

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Sep 29, 2009 9:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Hey Rob,

Interesting approach ...

China Doll seems to be about a murder
A pistol shot at 5 o'clock,
the bells of heaven ring.

Me & My Uncle, multiple murders.

He's Gone - I know it was supposedly originally about Lenny Hart, but it became so much more after the loss of Pigpen, and then much later, Brent.

Wharf Rat might not be so specific, but it takes place in that same brokedown-old-men-dying-alone space, along with Stella Blue, and Black Peter.

Morning Dew is all about death and loss.

Brokedown Palace.

Black Muddy River.

If I were capable of remembering the lyrics, I might also suggest What's Become of the Baby? - that's a death song, isn't it?

There must be lots more ...

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 29, 2009 11:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

As others have mentioned, a lot of the covers they did (especially Garcia's) are death songs - the sad tales of Rosalie McFall, Little Sadie, Peggy-O....
And of course, He Was a Friend of Mine. But now he's dead and gone!
You could count the acoustic gospel songs they did, too, like Swing Low and I Hear a Voice Callin'....

Oh, then there's this one...

Lay down, my dear brother
Lay down and take your rest
Why don't you lay your head upon your savior's breast
I love you but Jesus loves you the best
And I bid you goodnight

Sing Me Back Home is probably their premier death cover, though.

But I can't believe no one has mentioned Cryptical!
"Well, you know he had to DIE-IE-IE-IE (BANG, CRASH)....."

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Poster: barongsong Date: Sep 29, 2009 12:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

ok gotta add to this thread Stagger Lee pretty obvious but unmentioned as of yet and what of Dark Star a metaphoric death song maybe.
Next thread, life songs: I bet it will include most of the songs mentioned here because after all there can't be one without the other, blah blah blah.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 29, 2009 1:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Dark Star is totally a death (& rebirth) song - I should have my membership privileges revoked for not mentioning it!

Dark Star crashes
Pouring its light into ashes....

One thing about songs like Dupree & Little Sadie & Weir's various cowboy-killing songs - I'd put them more in the category of 'outlaw' or 'murder' or even 'western' songs rather than death per se.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 29, 2009 2:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

"I'd put them more in the category of 'outlaw' or 'murder' or even 'western' songs rather than death per se."

Good point, LiA. What I was interested in were the songs that reflected on the nature, the consequences, the philosophy of death and dying, not really the 'dead ass there by the side of the road' songs, entertaining though those are.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 29, 2009 2:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Unless, of course, they reflect, "mirror like", on the nature of life itself...har, har.

Well, actually, I was thinking Contract is a bit more of a "life" and not a "death" tune, but as that crosses over toward NRPS, and is "less DEAD", I will refrain.

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Sep 29, 2009 3:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

If we're stretching the limits I'll add Cold Jordan

Oh sinner as you tread on life's journey
Take Jesus as your daily guide
Though you may feel pure and saintly
Without Him walking by your side
But when you come to make the crossing
At the ending of his pilgrim's way
If you ever will need your Saviour
You will surely need him on that day

Chorus
Now look at that cold Jordan, look at its deep water
Look at that wide river, oh hear the mighty billows roll
You better take Jesus with you, he's a true companion
Oh I'm sure without him that you never will make it home

That awful day of judgement is coming in the by and by
We'll see our Lord descending in glory from on high
Oh, let us keep in touch with Jesus and in the special love of God
And may we ever be called ready when he calls us over Jordan's tide

[chorus]

Now what you gonna do, oh what you gonna say
Oh how you gonna feel when you come to the end of the way?

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Poster: barongsong Date: Sep 29, 2009 1:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Yea I guess it should be like blatant murder-death songs and life-death song categories maybe.
Let's ask Dire Wolf he'll know for sure. lol

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Sep 29, 2009 1:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Nick Cave has made an entire career out of "murder ballads".

Then again, Death is not the end...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9adWrWagg6k&;feature=related

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Poster: sweetwilliam Date: Sep 29, 2009 1:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

China Doll has been one of my favorites since I first heard
the Dead, way back when, and from the very first I always interpreted it as having to do with suicide rather than murder. Just a feeling I had... not until today did I know it was sometimes referred to as 'The Suicide Song'.
Just an aside here-if you are partial to this song, check out Saratoga 6/24/84 for an astounding version.
Peace.

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Poster: barongsong Date: Sep 29, 2009 2:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Actually I always thought of this song as the "Don't Freak Out That Much" song. Bringing tripping heads in from, or going over the brink. But maybe it's just a live show interpretation.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 29, 2009 12:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Holy (Gospel!) Crap! I can't believe I didn't go with my fav Rosalie McFall! Always loved that one..

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Barbed Wire Whipping Party
The other day I went to Mars and talked to God
And he told me to tell you to hang tight and don't worry
The solution to everything is death

Big River
I'm gonna sit right here until I die

Cream Puff War
I can't believe that she really wants you to die

El Paso
I shot first and killed him

Leaving Terrapin
Let us rest at ease and if you die before we do

Sing Me Back Home
Won't you sing me back home, before I die

Mason's Children
All he said, when dead and gone, won't you weep for me

Tennessee Jed
You know you bound to wind up dead

Wharf Rat
Pearly's been true, true to me, true to my dying day

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Poster: snori Date: Sep 29, 2009 11:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

On the same lines as 'Sing me back home' didn't they cover 'Green green grass of home' ? For the record I dislike both these songs equally.

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Standing on the moon with nothing left to do
A lovely view of heaven but I'd rather be with you
A lovely view of heaven but I'd rather be with you
Be with you
I'd rather be with you

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Sep 29, 2009 9:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Casey Jones

"Come 'round the bend,
You know it's the end"

Stagger Lee - admittedly more than just about death

Ripple

He's Gone

St. Stephen
"Did he doubt or did he try?
Answers aplenty in the bye and bye"

On a side note, this looks interesting -
http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/schleif.html




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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Yes indeed that link does look interesting! Got it bookmarked to be read in a quiet moment. Thanks, jg!

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Sep 29, 2009 11:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

How could noone mention Jack Straw yet?

Hurts my ears to listen, Shannon
Burns my eyes to see
Cut down a man in cold blood, Shannon
Might as well be me

Jack Straw from Wichita
Cut his buddy down
Dug for him a shallow grave
And layed his body down


I think Me & My Uncle was already mentioned, however, I'd like to say this is one of my all time favorite Lyrics about death:

I love those cowboys, I love their gold,
I loved my uncle, God rest his soul,
Taught me good, Lord, Taught me all I know
Taught me so well, I grabbed that gold
And I left his dead ass there by the side of the road.

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Birth & Death

Born Cross Eyed

Seems like I've been here before,
Fuzzy then and still so obscure, good-bye, good-bye, good-bye, good-bye.
And I don't want to see anybody cry,
Meet me some mornin' in the sweet by and by, by and by, by and by.

Song commin' on,
So pleasin' to see, come and gone, good-bye, good-bye, good-bye, good-bye,
You don't have to tell me why,
Meet me some mornin' in the sweet by and by, by and by, by and by.

It ain't cause I'm the only one left darlin',
Bout the time the sun rises west,
Feelin' groovy, lookin' fine.

Think I'll come back here again,
Every now and then from time to time.
My how lovely you are, my dear,
The ball game has gone much too far my dear,
Sing to me, do your thing to me,
I'll meet you some mornin', meet you some mornin',
In the sweet by and by, by and by, by and by.


Cosmic Charley
I just wonder if you shouldn't feel
less concern about the deep unreal
The very first word is : How do you do?
The last: go home, your mama's callin you

Go on home
Your mama's calling you
Calling you.....

This post was modified by jglynn1.2 on 2009-09-29 17:17:03

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Mason died on Monday - and the rest of the week got real weird.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

For the first time ever (can you believe it?) I just sat down and read the lyrics to Mason's Children. Now there's a song that could bear some analysis. Hunter said it was about Altamont but it seems steeped in death/rebirth folk tradition, a much better lyric than I'd previously given it credit for!

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Poster: snori Date: Sep 29, 2009 11:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Isn't 'New Speedway Boogie' about Altamont or it's coverage ? Either way add it to the list - 'in the heat of the day a man died of cold'

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 29, 2009 12:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Indeed New Speedway is about Altamont. The AGDL website has this note about Mason's:

Hunter's note in the Box of Rain anthology says:

"An unrecorded GD song dealing obliquely with Altamont."

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Poster: Estimated Pete Date: Sep 30, 2009 9:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

How about Jack-a-Roe? I always thought it was a love song, but death (war) seems to be the topic. My guess is the Revolutionary War: In London, they did dwell. He left his native country and his darling girl behind.
But this love/war song has a happy ending, at least for Jack the sailor and the wealthy merchant's Beautiful daughter. Not so happy among the dead and wounded where she found her darling boy.

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Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Sep 29, 2009 8:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

'I've Been All Around This World':

"Hang me, O hang me
until I'm dead and gone...

I wouldn't mind the hanging boys, but the wait in jail's so long..."


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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

May be going to Hell in a Bucket,
But at least I'm enjoying the ride.

Winter rain, now tell me why, Summers fade, and roses die.
The answer came; the wind and rain.

It's all over now, Baby Blue.

Knock-Knock-Knockin on Heaven's door.

There were days
and there were days
and there were days between
Summer flies and August dies
the world grows dark and mean

A rifle on my shoulder
six-shooter in my hand, oh lord
I've been all around this world

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Poster: skies Date: Sep 29, 2009 9:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

I don't know the death songs titles of GD, but what you are saying here, Robthewordsmith is heart touching !

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Poster: DeadRed1971 Date: Sep 29, 2009 4:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Dire Wolf would be near the top of death songs for me.

How about Brown Eyed Women?:

Tumble down shack in Bigfoot County
Snowed so hard that the roof caved in
Delilah Jones went to meet her God
and the old man never was the same again

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Poster: cush212 Date: Sep 30, 2009 9:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

"Dire Wolf would be near the top of death songs for me " Or should he just be at the top of the list?

;}

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 30, 2009 9:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

CUSH!! How are you doing, gramps?

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Poster: cush212 Date: Sep 30, 2009 9:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Doinb well my friend, juxt can/t see without the specs...

Forgot to ask what's for dinner? Me getting hungry!!!

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 30, 2009 9:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Chilli by special request of the young princess. So I guess I'd better get chopping and stirring.

Hey, guess who I bumped into at the opticians yesterday?
Everybody!

See you later, buddy.


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Poster: cush212 Date: Sep 30, 2009 10:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

I/ll bring a sack of jalapenos...

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Poster: banditos33 Date: Sep 29, 2009 6:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Tom Dooley

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Poster: West Cumberland Blues Date: Sep 29, 2009 11:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Sugaree
When they come to take you down
When they bring that wagon round
When they come to call on you
and drag your poor body down...
...One last voice is calling you
and I guess it's time you go

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Sep 29, 2009 4:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Stagger Lee.

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Poster: bbbrew Date: Sep 29, 2009 12:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Dupree's Diamond Blues,
In fact its gonna cost you your life

Traditionals are some of my fav's:

He was a friend of Mine
Now hes dead and gone

Met little Sadie and I blowed her down

And this cover done once.
Gathering Flowers for the Masters Bouquet
Death is an angle sent down from above
Sent for the flowers and lillies we love
Surely its so, for in heavens own way
The soul is a flower of the Masters bouquet
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1969-12-26.sbd.warner-evans.28448.sbeok.flac16
Sweet William he is dead and he died for a maid


This post was modified by bbbrew on 2009-09-29 19:36:28

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Poster: jerrys beard Date: Sep 29, 2009 10:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Grateful death songs

Death Don't Have No Mercy